5 women accuse San Diego County deputy of sexual misconduct when on patrol

Two additional women have filed claims against the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department alleging sexual misconduct by a deputy who officials confirmed this week was already under criminal investigation.

The latest allegations raise to five the number of accusers who have filed legal claims involving Deputy Richard Fischer, 31. County officials are conducting both criminal and administrative investigations into Fischer’s conduct while on patrol.

Sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Keim issued a brief statement Wednesday, saying: “The investigation is continuing.”

Fischer, who has not responded to multiple interview requests, has been on administrative leave from the Sheriff’s Department since early this month.

The latest claims mirror what three other women alleged in recent weeks: Fischer responded to routine law enforcement calls and improperly groped women.

In one, a 61-year-old San Marcos woman said she called 911 in October to report threats from her boyfriend. Fischer answered the call and hugged the woman soon after entering the home. He then began asking if she lived alone, if her window blinds were up and if there was a camera recording in the room, the claim said.

Fischer allegedly hugged her again, more tightly this time, and moved his hands onto her buttocks before taking the woman’s hand and twice rubbing it up and down on his genitals, the claim states.

Before he left, “Fischer asked the claimant not to tell anyone what happened,” the claim states.

The other claim filed Wednesday came from a 58-year-old nurse who said Fischer handcuffed her in Escondido last May, sat her on a curb and pressed his crotch toward her face.

“You don’t look 58,” Fischer allegedly told her. “If I was older, would you date me?”

So far this month, four claims and a lawsuit have been filed against the Sheriff’s Department alleging sexual misconduct by Fischer. Five of the alleged incidents occurred after one woman reported the allegations in 2016. Claims submitted by attorney Dan Gilleon on behalf of the women say the county failed by not preventing additional incidents after the 2016 allegations.

McDonald writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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